Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) plans to tap international expertise in its drive to reduce gas flaring across its sprawling Block 6 concession — a move designed to enable the majority government-owned oil and gas producer to conserve valuable gas, reduce its carbon footprint, and ultimately achieve its goal of eliminating flaring altogether.
More than 60 flares are currently in place at key locations across PDO’s sizable acreage, accounting for as much as 11 per cent of total gas volumes consumed daily by the company in 2016. Of an estimated consumption rate of 25.1 million cubic metres of gas per day, around 2.7 million cubic metres per day of gas was flared, the company stated in the 2016 Annual Report.
Flaring reduction is an integral part of PDO’s gas conservation strategy. Efforts to pare flared volumes resulted in a 38 per cent reduction in flaring intensity recorded over the 2015-2016 timeframe. Flaring intensity slumped to 12.86 tonnes flared per 1,000 tonnes of production in 2016, down from 20.85 tonnes flared in 2015, the company said.
Now in a bid to slash flaring even further, PDO has floated a ‘Request for Information’ from suppliers that potentially have the technology and expertise to help the company achieve its flaring reduction goals.
“PDO, the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman, is seeking the best, technically and economically feasible and proven solutions to reduce/mitigate its flaring. With this purpose in mind, PDO is inviting suppliers of gas flaring mitigation technology and solutions to respond to a Request For Information (RFI). This RFI allows suppliers the opportunity to self-declare their capability and interest in meeting PDO’s requirements in full or in part,” the company said in its RFI.
According to PDO, the 60-odd flares in operation across its acreage are broadly divided into three categories: Associated gas flares in oil operations in South Oman; Associated gas flares in oil operations in North Oman; and Non-associated gas flares in gas operations in Oman. International companies have until September 28, 2017, to register their interest in participating in this tender.
Flaring, according to PDO, is an essential part of oil and gas operations anywhere in the world. It helps safely relieve toxic hydrocarbon gases, although in the process it can lead to significant loss of natural gas resources and also have serious implications on environmental impact and reputation. At oil facilities, around 1-2 per cent of total oil and gas production is lost due to flaring, while non-routine flaring accounts for more than 75 per cent of total flaring.
Significantly, PDO has also endorsed the World Bank Zero Flaring Initiative which encourages governments, companies and development organisations to work closely together to end continuous flaring by 2030. In line with this goal, the company will “continue to strive towards implementation of economically viable solutions to eliminate routine flaring as soon as possible and ahead of the World Bank target date,” according to PDO’s Managing Director Raoul Restucci.